Suspect arrested in South Tampa teen murders

TAMPA - Police have arrested a suspect in the Sunday morning shooting deaths of two teens in South Tampa.

18-year-old Tavari R. Grant was arrested Thursday in the murders of Kiara Brito, 16, and her brother Jeremi, 13.

Detectives say the motive for the crime was robbery.

Another man who was already in custody on drug charges, 19-year-old Charles Waits, is also a suspect in the case. Waits was arrested a day after the shooting. At the time, was only considered a person of interest.

Police spokesperson Laura McElroy said Waits was with Grant at the time of the murders, and that the victims knew Waits.

"They felt comfortable to open the door to Waits and once inside, the suspect (Grant) opened fire and shot both of the kids in the head," McElroy said.

Kiara was pronounced dead at the scene. Jeremi died Monday after being removed from life support at Tampa General Hospital.

The teens' mother, Judi Brito, was not at home when they were shot.

Following the shootings, "A witness was able to obtain a partial tag," said McElroy. That led detectives to Waits. When detectives caught up with Grant, they found he had valuable evidence in his possession.

"He gave several inconsistent stories. He gave stories that contradicted each other. He lied to detectives," McElroy said.

Kiara Brito was a junior at Robinson High School in Tampa. Jeremi attended nearby Madison Middle School.

A memorial for Kiara and Jeremi will be held this afternoon at First Baptist Church of Port Tampa.

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